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An Irish Poem Singaporified

A while ago E@L did a Singapore taxi-driver's version of The Panther - that brilliant poem by Rainer Maria Rilke.

Tonight, here's another one in the series.

This time E@L has taken a classic Oirish Pome and done some seditious and taxignomic changes for his own intellectual amusement and your aesthetic delectation. You might like it. You might not. You might want to try your version. You might want to send E@L a cheque for $1,000,000 as an advance to allow him to complete his collection of taxi-inspired poetry. Or maybe a screenplay. Starring a dull, uninspired Tom Hanks as the dull, uninspired taxi-driver trying to decode the bleeping instructions on his taxi's LCD screen.

An Aussie Expat Forgoes his Fate
by Expat@Large, inventor of the Frozen Tim-Tam Vodkatini/Milkshake

I know that I shall leave my phone
In back of a Singapore taxi-cab.
Those that took it I won't bemoan
They won't give it back, they like to gab.
My country is under the Southern Cross
Their country is owned by Lee Kwan Yew.
No-one cares if I get lost
Or leave, they're happier with few.
No lawyer's access, no real vote
No public demo, no journalism showing crowds
No chewing gum, no gambling's tote -
Drive me to the airport and to the clouds!
Unbalanced Lee, he'll wash your minds!
Your complaints are all a waste of breath
A waste of breath your votes behind.
Unbalanced life, I'm out of here like death.

Ha ha ha. Laugh. It's funny. A little bit of poetic licence here and there with some of the sense being lost in order to maintain the poetic meter (iolanthic pentaxameter?) which is obviously much more important in these poem things. Blank verse? I call it "prose with random carriage returns".

The astute and/or sensitive reader may note that the poem starts off talking about one topic but ends up talking about another. How can you go off subject in only 16 short lines you ask? Despite what you may think, this is not (only) a sign of lack of focus, application, seriousness, inspiration or talent, but (also) is a legitimate technique that we of a poetic nature call "free association" or "spiritual channelling" or "random bullshitting" or "clutching at straws".

It was something the man hisself, WB Yeats, was very fond of - he'd let his wife George [sic, very sic] close her eyes and with her head hung back, tongue lolling, she'd ramble on at random and at length, claiming she was channelling messages direct from the Celtic Ray ("nayuh nayuh nayuh" as Van Morrison would later sing, oh so aptly). Yeats'd then market this crap as some sort of Revelation and sell the meaningless pap as *his own* magnificent theosophistic mantra. A Vision, such as it is, was 'written' this way. Life as geometry. Fucking wanker.

Actually he was not such a great wanker, technically. He eventually suffered from chronic impotence and in those pre-Viagra, pre-penile implant days, one of the more outrageous trendy cures was vasectomy - after which he allegedly felt 'revitalized'. (How do I know this stuff?) Which, as the passage of sperm to the seminal vesicles has no effect on tumscence, actually shows that his impotence was psychogenic not vasculogenic. Probably being married to a woman called George didn't help in this regard. (I remember that joke! I think I've blogged all this before on my old Lycos blog - I could be channelling or plagiarising myself!)

The real poem what E@L has plagiarised parodied sampled reverentially imitated - some might recognise it from the WWII movie Memphis Belle in which Billy Zane's character pretended he had written it but fessed up before his head got gravel-rashed away when he was trapped upside-down in the lower turret, quite a few years ago now that movie - is of course:-

An Irish Airman Foresees His Fate
by William Butler Yeats, the inventor of lawn-seed.

I know that I shall meet my fate
Somewhere among the clouds above;
Those that I fight I do not hate,
Those that I guard I do not love;
My county is Kiltartan Cross,
My countrymen Kiltartan's poor,
No likely end could bring them loss
Or leave them happier than before.
Nor law, nor duty bade me fight,
Nor public men, nor cheering crowds,
A lonely impulse of delight
Drove to this tumult in the clouds;
I balanced all, brought all to mind,
The years to come seemed waste of breath,
A waste of breath the years behind
In balance with this life, this death.

This is not the poem you want hear is your SIA pilot's favourite.

p.s. And not to be confused with that other great WWI poem, Seigfried Owens's "An English Infantryman Smells His Feet".


Frozen Tim-Tam Vodkatini (really a variation on a Black Russian sucked through a Tim-Tam)

2 Tim-Tams diced (not-frozen as they won't smooth up - then again that could be good!)
1 Large handful of ice (still experimenting on the amount)
4 oz cheap vodka - don't waste your Belvedere or Grey Goose on this one
2 oz Kahlua or the other one

Blend in a good blender until silky smooth. If too thick, add more vodka and/or kahlua. (That works for me, hic!) Makes 2 or 3 depending upon the size of your glass... Be warned - licking the blender blades can damage you tongue. Do not drive or operate machinery after seven of these (experience slurring talking).

Frozen Tim-Tam Milkshake

As above, replacing Vodka and Kahlua and most of the ice with 250mls/ccs milk and a healthy (as in unhealthy) scoop of vanilla or chocolate ice-cream (or both) and some Milo or chocolate syrup. Better still leave those out and leave in the Vodka and Kahlua! It's a flexible mood-based thing...



Posted by: expat@large on May 19, 06 | 5:10 pm | Profile


Tim-Tam...never heard...thanks for the link.
But what is Kahlua?????????

Posted by: drymonsoon on May 20, 06 | 3:08 am

Kalhua? I meant Kahlua. Jamaican coffee flavoured liquer. The "other one" is "Tia Maria".

Actually the TimTam cocktails are a waste of time. Just eat the really chilled TimTams with your Black or White Russian or with a chocolate milkshake - you bite of each chocolate-covered end of the T-T and use it as a straw to suck the drink through the inner matrix of the biscuit. Do this a few times per T-T then eat it. The chocolate outer cover stays firm, the inner biscuit soaks up the drink and really melts in you mouth with the alcohol's taste - it is like a home-made liquer chocolate. MMmmmmm.

Do not try this in a classy nightclub. I will come to Germany and slap your wrist if you do!

Posted by: expat@large on May 20, 06 | 10:43 am


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